Reflections of a 2020 Groundskeeper

The numbers are in! The Groundskeepers team picked up over 6,348 pounds of trash from our public trails and waterways around the country this year! That's a total 16,729 pounds of trash since 2017! Whoa. Last year, I was interviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune about being part of the 2019 Granite Gear Groundskeeper Crew. We … Continue reading Reflections of a 2020 Groundskeeper

Gear Review: Winter Foot Traction!

Winter is here! We got a few inches of snow over a layer of ice this week, so its time to start talking about winter foot traction! We had an old friend that used to wave and shout "RUBBER SIDE DOWN!", out the door when we'd leave her house. I think she meant "DRIVE SAFE"...but … Continue reading Gear Review: Winter Foot Traction!

Wandering Pine 2020 Outdoor Gift Guide!

Welcome to the 2020 Wandering Pine Holiday Gift Guide! Featuring gifting options for your favorite outdoorsy peeps (or treat yourself!) at under $25, under $50 and even gently used gear! Julie Andrews’ classic ‘Favorite things’ is playing on repeat in my brain and I’m stoked to share the great gift ideas and sales going on … Continue reading Wandering Pine 2020 Outdoor Gift Guide!

Fall Camping in Iowa | Ledges State Park

Read about our trip to one of Iowa’s oldest and most popular State Parks - Ledges State park in Madrid Iowa! We followed the Fall colors, camped in the remote hike in campsites, cooked over the fire and managed to fend off some persistent and well-fed raccoons!

Fall Backpacking in the BWCA | Sioux Hustler Trail: Part 2

Part two of our Fall Backpacking trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) on the Sioux Hustler Trail! The trail is muddy, rocky, re-routed by several beaver dams and does not include any navigational signing. Water is plentiful, as the trail circumvents numeroous lakes. Moose are common in the area, and if you listen closely, you may hear wolves or coyotes howling at night. Check out our Youtube video for more on campsite conditions and tales from the trail! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91MRNWESgUg&t=82s

Fall Backpacking in the BWCA | Sioux Hustler Trail: Part 1

Part one of our Fall Backpacking trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) on the Sioux Hustler Trail! The Sioux–Hustler Trail is a rugged hiking loop in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota, near the Canadian border. This area is mostly known for its paddling trips, and traveling in the Fall was an optimal time to visit due to lack of bugs, cool weather and pristine views of the forest changing color. Check out our Youtube video for more on campsite conditions and tales from the trail! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91MRNWESgUg&t=82s

Hiking Merit Badge 20 Miler | Minneapolis Parks

HIKE DETAILS LENGTH 20 milesDIFFICULTY mostly flat and paved, with dirt options and a few hillsDATE HIKED October 4, 2020MAIN FEATURES Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, Theodore Wirth Park, Chain of Lakes. Start location - 2601 Theodore Wirth Parkway:  Sunset Park Last week, some friends and I backpacked the 35ish mile Sioux Hustler Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It … Continue reading Hiking Merit Badge 20 Miler | Minneapolis Parks

Family Glamping at Lake Bemidji State Park

This post highlights our family trip to Lake Bemidji State Park and its Hiking Club Trail, Itasca State Park, the iconic Paul & Babe Statue and some musings on glamping in a sweet little camper we rented through Outdoorsy. Hope you enjoy! Glamping glamp·ing/ˈɡlampiNG/nouna form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those … Continue reading Family Glamping at Lake Bemidji State Park

SHT Trail-a-versary and Hiking Southern Minnesota Video!

Read about my one year trail-a-versary of completing the Superior Hiking Trail and more about hiking Southern Minnesota State Parks. New video on the Wandering Pine Youtube channel.

Hiking Southern Minnesota – Part 2: Pipestone National Monument, Split Rock Creek and Lake Shetek State Parks

Continued from part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Parks! The prairie has a unique beauty and history that I am still learning more about. I'm also realizing the importance of knowing our history, in order to learn from it and avoid repeating it. So, if you are like me, and history … Continue reading Hiking Southern Minnesota – Part 2: Pipestone National Monument, Split Rock Creek and Lake Shetek State Parks

Hiking Southern Minnesota | Part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Park

Garden Update! The garden is bursting and these late summer days are filled with working at home and in the yard. I'm writing this post on a family trip to another beautiful MN State Park, in a cute little rental camper, early in the morning while everyone is still asleep. No work or chores for … Continue reading Hiking Southern Minnesota | Part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Park

Wandering Pine Gear Picks: Sun Protection!

I'd like to interrupt my regularly scheduled post about our Southern Minnesota State Park tour to talk to you about a topic near and dear to my heart (and face...and hands...and everywhere else the sun touches): SUN PROTECTION. This week, I'm fresh off a trip to the prairie AND the dermatologist!  With bandaids still covering … Continue reading Wandering Pine Gear Picks: Sun Protection!

Minnesota North Shore Weekend! Part 2: Tettegouche State Park, Superior Hiking Trail and a BEAR at camp!

Continued from Part 1... Split Rock to Beaver Bay TRIP DETAILS LENGTH 11 miles:  camped at Tettegouche State ParkDIFFICULTY Moderate, elevation and sun exposureDATE August 9, 2020MAIN FEATURES Classic Superior Hiking Trail up and down elevation with spectacular views of Lake Superior.  We parked a car in the rear lot of Cove Point Lodge, which connects directly to a 2 … Continue reading Minnesota North Shore Weekend! Part 2: Tettegouche State Park, Superior Hiking Trail and a BEAR at camp!

Lake Superior North Shore Weekend! Part 1: Temperance River State Park

Last weekend's garden harvest This has been a year of adjusting and re-adjusting, and there are days that I'd rather just turn this into a page about gardening. In many ways, this shift has been good for me... causing me to find ways to enjoy a deeper and more intentional life close to home. My … Continue reading Lake Superior North Shore Weekend! Part 1: Temperance River State Park

Beaver Creek Valley and Great Bluffs State Park

Trip report from a quick overnight to Beaver Creek Valley and Great Bluffs State Park to enjoy scenic Southern Minnesota and Hike the Hiking Club Trails.

Superior Hiking Trail: “Jester” Section Hiker Podcast

Earlier this Spring, I had the opportunity to talk to Julie from the "Jester" Section Hikers Podcast about my Superior Hiking Trail LASH. We had recorded an earlier session in the winter, but something happened to the audio, so we got to do it again! She was a joy to talk to and I left … Continue reading Superior Hiking Trail: “Jester” Section Hiker Podcast

Listening, Learning, Healing

My heart has been heavy and the things I would normally write about here have felt irrelevant during this time of upheaval and sorrow. The killing of George Floyd has become a catalyst for change, felt around the world, exposing systemic racism and police brutality in a way that can no longer be ignored...all in … Continue reading Listening, Learning, Healing

The SHT Blooper Video is LIVE – and other things happening this week.

It's been a full week in Wandering Pine World and I wanted to give an update and check in to see how you are all doing.  I was supposed to be backpacking the Kekekabic Trail last weekend and officially cancelled my Memorial Day Sioux Hustler Trail Boundary Waters Trip.  It was a personal decision, but … Continue reading The SHT Blooper Video is LIVE – and other things happening this week.

The North Country Trail 100 Mile Challenge

Look what came in the mail yesterday! If you have been following along here, you will know that after finishing the Superior Hiking Trail in long sections last year, I was looking for a new adventure.  2020 was going to be all about the North Country Trail and exploring Minnesota's most remote and rugged trails … Continue reading The North Country Trail 100 Mile Challenge

How to Plan a Hike…and what is a hike anyway?

This week, a friend asked "what's the difference between a walk and a hike?" I've heard this question before, but even now...when things seem to be changing on the daily...the answer is still the same "Well, that's up to you..." When I signed up for my first 52 Hike Challenge, in 2017, my personal definition … Continue reading How to Plan a Hike…and what is a hike anyway?